You In Glorious Jackson Hole
Okay. enough about me and the near past.
This is about you and your near future. You, the athleteand I use that word with full consideration and intent. Because wherever you are in your running life, you can make the choice to be an athlete. You can adopt that mind-set and make it your own defining essence. Being an athlete is not something you’re born with.” That’s a misconception, a myth, really, that is all too often also an impedimentor, even worse, an excuse. Being an athlete is a choice. And making that choice, taking up that mind-set, is the step that allows you to move toward a new level of achievement. That’s what this book is about. And that’s what I’m going to ask of you.
The truth is, athleticism is awareness. That simple phrase is at the core of my program. When I say, Athleticism is awareness,” what I mean is that to be an athlete means you are someone who is aware of your form and technique; aware of how you move your body; aware of your effort level, of your breathing pattern; aware of what you eat (and don’t eat); and, most important, aware of what you think (and don’t think).
We will go deeper into that idea later, but first we need to address the physical side of things. I believe firmly that the mind follows the body. And when the mind follows a good body, it gets to the right place. So that is where we will begin the journeyyour journeyto the Cool Impossible.
To get started, I am going to ask you to look at things maybe a little differently than you’ve looked at them in the past. I’m going to introduce you to some new ideas and concepts and ask you to do some new things that will help to catapult your running to another level and help you get everything that you want out of every mile. Along the way, I am going to challenge you to go above and beyond what you think is possible for yourself, for your running, and, I hope, even your life.
And to be clear, this process, this challengethis opportunityis open to every runner. This book is for you whether you’re a beginner, or a veteran hoping to reclaim that beginner’s enthusiasm and sense of possibility; whether you’re a dedicated competitor, gearing your efforts to improvements in time and placings at key races, or a recreational runner, excited about the social aspects of the sport; whether you’re someone whose running has been interrupted or compromised by chronic injury, or an enthusiastic experimenter inspired by visions of barefoot running, the Tarahumara Indians, and other adventures. This commitment to awareness willlike Frost’s choice between two roads diverging in a woodmake all the difference.
One element of what you will learn later is how important and powerful a role visualization plays in performance. The mind follows the body and, in turn, performance follows the mind. But harnessing that sequence, controlling it and making it work for us to carry us to where we want to go, is a challengeand one that often goes unrecognized. We have lost touch with the art of daydreaming. I don’t mean the kind of daydreaming that comes after a few hours of surfing vacation Web sites or buying that lottery ticket. We’re all pretty good at that. No, I mean the kind of daydreaming that can help guide our performance and prepare us for the journey to the Cool Impossible.
So let’s give it a try. Let’s do it. Right now. Rather than simply telling you what’s going to come in the chapters aheadlaying out the programs and the protocols, explaining the mechanics, the physiology and the psychologyI’m going to give you a chance to live it. I wake up each day in Jackson thrilled anew to find myself in what is truly a running and adventure-sport paradise, living the kind of life that I once could only imagine. But that’s the point: I did imagine it, and now it’s as real as the vast, jagged face of the Teton Range that beckons me each time I step out of my house, or the bear that ambles across the trail ahead of me on my morning run, or the lung-searing challenge of an uphill sprint at nine thousand feet. I want to make it just as real for you.
I want you to imagine that you are on your way to visit me in Jackson Hole for an intense seven-day running camp. This one-on-one camp will be like no other running you’ve ever done and will introduce you to and immerse you in every element of my training program. Jackson Hole is the real deal, the true Wild West. It’s here that you can find your own frontier and be shocked into a new reality. I am hoping this is what you expect from your visit and from this book, because it is what I want for you.
So, here you are. . . . It’s been a short flight from Denver or Salt Lake City (or wherever you made your connection, because, face it, unless you’ve got a private jet you’re not flying direct to Jackson). But it is a leap into another realm. The plane drops down out of the clouds and suddenly there it all is, a landscape so sweeping and majestic that it makes you almost laugh as you press your face to the little square of the window: the mountains, saw edged and brilliantly snowcapped, marching out to the horizon; the Snake River running its sinuous course through the valleys; the burnished tans and greens of the headlands. We are most certainly not in Kansas (in real or metaphorical terms) anymore.
You can see immediately why they call it Jackson Hole. The floor of the valley sits at sixty-five hundred feet, but the Tetons on the western side soar like a wall to thirteen thousand feet, and the Gros Ventre Range to the east tops out near twelve thousand feet. Trappers and hunters who found their way to the region in the early nineteenth century must have felt they were literally going over the edge as they climbed down the steep canyons into the vast encircled expanse. It still feels that way today, as the plane drops down, far below the peaks, and settles in for a landing at Jackson Hole Airport, which, with its low-slung rustic design, seems to blend in with the flat expanse of the valley.
No Jetway here. You grab your bag, running shoes dangling from the handle, and exit the plane directly onto the tarmac. You take a deep breath. The air is exhilarating and the sky astoundingly wide and close. As you follow the concrete path toward the terminal, you turn to look at the mountains, and it’s like they’re right there in your face. Your eye traces the wild, zigzag lines of the peaksdominated by the central massif, the truly majestic Grand Tetonand follows the canyons cutting up in deep, dark Vs between the rises. You try to imagine running there, following a trail up to the Teton Crest. It seems like another world. Another you, perhaps.
Welcome to Jackson: That sort of spectacular vista, with its promise and its challenge, is everywhere here. It is also the reason why you’re here. In the next few days you’re going to get a firsthand taste of all that Jackson has to offer, and at the same time an introduction to my running program, a taste of what I’ll be asking you to do, and a glimpse of where these new elements and new ways of thinking can take youin your running and in your life.
We meet outside the airport. I’m the shaved-headed, skinny guy with rounded shoulders and a cheery smile. I’m happy to see you, after all. I bundle you into my truck and off we go, windows down.
On the ride into town from the airport we pass buffaloyep, they’re roamingbeside the road, as well as an elk framed against the sky above a ridge, the same ridge on which we’ll put in some quality miles in the days to come. We also pass a trio of cyclists, pulling big gears as they roll down the shoulder not that much slower than we’re driving. You’ll learn that it’s impossible to go for long in Jackson Hole without seeing someone in motion: biking, running, hiking, paddling on the streams, skiing the trails in winter. The most adventure sports happy town in AmericaChris had it right.
But on this first night, before we move into action, there’s time to sit and talk, to get a sense of where you’re coming from, and where we’re going to be going in the course of the next seven daysand beyond. Over a steak salad or grilled trout at the Snake River Brewery, we’ll talk about a lot of things. About Jackson, and the history of the valley. About the Wild West. About skiing at lunchtime and about what twenty-below really feels like. About crazy real-estate prices and about mountain lions. Behind it all, of course, will be that sense of anticipation, of an adventure about to be embarked upon. Maybe you’re a little tired or fried from the travel, but you’re feeling a buzz, too, that tingle that every runner knows that precedes a big test. And so we’ll start talking about the aspects of your upcoming training. Since I’m a bottom-up kind of guy, we’ll start with your feet.
Don’t worry, we’re not going all Barefoot Ted here. My Copper Canyon race companion, and one of the pioneers of barefoot running, has a lot of wisdom to share, but I consider shoeless running a toolsomething that can help build strength and improve form for all runnersrather than as an objective in and of itself, or even, as some would have it, a lifestyle. Remember, the Tarahumara sport those huaraches, not bare feet, across their rocky trails. For now, we’re going to concentrate on strengthening the feet, and it’s crucial that you can feelreally feelwhat we’re doing.
Take your shoes off. It’s okaywe’re in Jackson here; you won’t be the first at this establishment. Now look down at those feet, maybe...
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
Includes a foreword by Christopher McDougall
Featured in the bestselling book Born to Run, coach and performance guru Eric Orton has spent a lifetime learning and thinking about running and about the limitless possibilities of the human body and mind. In The Cool Impossible, Orton shares his wealth of knowledge in an inspiring step-by-step guide that will open up a new world of achievement for runners of all levels of ability and experience.
The truth is: Athleticism is awareness. That simple phrase is at the core of The Cool Impossible. Athleticism requires awareness of form and technique, awareness of our effort level, and, most important, awareness of what we think (and don’t think). And with that awareness comes the possibility of endless potential and improvement, progress and mastery—and, ultimately, achievement that you never before would have thought possible.
With a program focused on proper running form, strength development, and cardiovascular training, Orton will help first-step beginners, prime-time competitors, and enduring veterans reach “the cool impossible”—the belief that any achievement, athletic or otherwise, is within our reach. Inside you’ll find:
* Foot strength exercises to catapult performance, combat injuries, and transform technique
* A total-body strength program aimed at creating an athletic running body
* Step-by-step run-form coaching for performance enhancement and lifelong healthy running
* A run-training program providing the building blocks for endurance, strength, and speed
* No-nonsense nutrition strategies for performance, health, and the ultimate running body
* Visualization and mind-training tactics to run and live the Cool Impossible
*And much more…
Natural running is about so much more than barefoot running. It’s about the joy of running that we were all naturally born with and can reawaken. Like a favorite running companion, The Cool Impossible will be there with you, stride for stride and mile for mile, helping you go farther than you ever could have on your own.